Sports Complex there used to be a segment called “Not the Best 10”. It was exactly the same as ESPN’s “Top 10 Plays” except it was the worst plays of the entire week, airing every Friday. No. 1 worst game of the week will be pitted against the current number. 1 worst game in previous weeks. Fans voted on which coverage was lower. The so-called winner was named Worst of the Worst.
When Mark Sanchez’s Butt Fumble game played out 10 years ago this Tuesday, the game went undefeated in the “Worst of the Worst” rankings for 40 consecutive weeks. “It was like Mike Tyson in his prime,” said Mark Summer, Senior Coordinating Producer Sports Complex at that time. “It’s TV gold.”
Forty weeks is roughly the length of a pregnancy. In the Bible, the number 40 is often used in trials, trials, and tribulations from the Most High.
This is fitting, as Butt Fumble spawned an athletic misfortune that can only be described as biblical.
The play is probably one of the 10 most famous American sports plays of the 21st century. It may seem absurd, but how many plays in recent history are more famous among both sports fans and sports fans?
The Butt Fumble is a masterpiece of contemporary art. This is indelible evidence of the failure of the franchise. This is the physical embodiment of the phrase “the agony of defeat.” This is a monument to modern Internet virality. It is both a symbol of Jets history and a watershed moment that heralded the coming decade and still haunts the team to this day.
You know the play. It was Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012. The Jets hosted the AFC East rival New England Patriots in the Meadowlands in front of nearly 80,000 fans. The Patriots and Tom Brady had just scored to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, and the Jets needed to call back.
On the first and tenth, Sanchez snapped and turned to pass the ball, but no one was there. The game was supposed to go to defenseman Lex Hilliard, but Sanchez turned the wrong way. In a panic, Sanchez decided to throw the ball in the stomach, so to speak. He ran into his bodyguard Brandon Moore. and fiddling.
November 22, 2012
The Patriots wipe out the Jets and Rex Ryan (49-19), including overtaking the New Yorkers (35-3) in just the 2nd quarter.
Planes, a gift that keeps on giving pic.twitter.com/hXIPA0GULM
— Boston Sports Information (@bostonsportsinf) November 22, 2022
The name Butt Fumble is not an exaggeration. Moore’s ass is what shakes football. “Vince [Wilfork] actually picks up the guard and throws him back into the quarterback,” said Steve Gregory, the Patriots defenseman who regained the fumble. Ringer in a recent telephone interview.
As the ball bounces, Sanchez makes a desperate lunge to try and get it back. But in a cosmic rejection of Sanchez, the Jets, and perhaps the very concept of mercy, the ball bounces straight to Gregory, who picks it up and returns it for a touchdown that gave the Patriots a 21-0 second-quarter lead.
“Maybe [I was] more stunned than anything,” Sanchez said. in Associated Press a week after the game. “Like a car accident. I thought, “Wow. What happened now?’ Then the ball disappeared. It was weird.”
Two years later, Sanchez played again for Thanksgiving and was asked about the play. “I hit some guy’s ass, dropped the ball on the lawn, and some guy scored,” Sanchez complained. “And on my favorite holiday. It wasn’t cool.”
The players on both teams didn’t realize how ridiculous the game was until they got home and saw replays on TV.
“The first time I saw this, I laughed out loud to myself in the room for 20 seconds,” then Patriots QB Tom Brady said. his radio show Sirius XM Earlier this year. “I thought it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my sporting life.”
Incredibly, Butt Fumble™ wasn’t even the first butt fumble in 2012. Just a month before Sanchez hit internet infamy, Cowboys Running Back Felix Jones essentially did the same against the New York Giants, lost the ball after crashing into the back of Dallas center Ryan Cooke. The play seemed to inspire a handful of people on Twitter to use the #buttfumble hashtag a month before Sanchez’s iconic moment. (Ironically, the first person I can find who uses #buttfumble is Rich Eisen of NFL Networkwho is a Jets fan but used the hashtag a full year before Sanchez’s game.)
Sanchez himself even groped his own ass – a rather vicious circle of the full moon story.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNFL) December 4, 2018
Earlier this season, the Dolphins had a Punta-Bills docking.
BUTTPUNT, very slow motion.
: on Sundays pic.twitter.com/ZDLww39O6r
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 26, 2022
But none of these other butt-related pieces had the staying power that Butt Fumble did. Sanchez’s Butt Fumble was the one who started the genre, thanks in part to the game’s prime-time holiday broadcast window and NBC’s quick thinking. Sunday Night Football producers who immediately realized the importance of the moment. “If a [the Butt Fumble] It was 1:00 p.m. on a typical Sunday, there is no game like this,” NBC executive producer Fred Gaudelli said. “But because it goes to prime time on Thanksgiving night with no competition, there’s really nothing else on TV, it just got the maximum audience it could get.”
Gaudelli, who is also an executive producer Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, has been producing prime time football games for over 30 years and has worked on seven different Super Bowls. In his role, Gaudelli watches each rerun from every angle and decides which ones to show on TV. When the NFL released its list of the 100 Greatest Moments in the league’s first 100 years, Gaudelli was producing half of the games in the top ten. funny Gaudelli says that in the first 100 years of the NFL, nothing beats the Butt Fumble.
“You knew right away that this could only happen to the New York Jets,” Guadelli said. “And you knew you would be replaying it for the rest of the game.
Incredibly, Butt Fumble was no sticking point for the Jets that Thanksgiving night. They botched the subsequent kickoff and New England’s Julian Edelman caught the ball mid-air and came back. what and for a touchdown, which gives the Pats return touchdowns in consecutive games.
Add to that a touchdown by Tom Brady on the drive before Butt Fumble, and the Jets hit three touchdowns in 56 seconds of playing time. In just five games (not counting extra-point attempts), New England turned a 7-0 lead into a 28-0 lead with almost nine minutes left in the second quarter. All this happened on thanksgiving night. More than 18 million people watched as Sanchez pathetically reached for the ball before flopping down.
He is like a defeated movie hero on the ground, reaching for a weapon that they know is out of reach but is their only way out. And as soon as the ball is picked up, Sanchez lies facing the lawn in existential horror.
It wasn’t just that the ball eluded Sanchez. At this point, the best era of modern Jets football slipped out of the hands of the franchise.
“You know, I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick, rings” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. at the start of his first season as Jets coach in 2009.. Ryan later said Newsday reviewer Bob Glauber what he really meant was, “As much as I respect and admire Bill Belichick, I came here to kick his ass.”
Ryan was a rebel – he even went so far as to get suggestive tattoo his wife in a Mark Sanchez jersey. But he immediately backed up his shitty talk. He led the Jets to an AFC Championship game in each of his first two seasons. This run included a playoff victory over the New England Belichick Patriots in January 2011 (one of only three teams to defeat the Foxborough Patriots in a playoff game during the Brady-Belichick era). Sanchez, young New Yorker Vincent Chase in style The quarterback set the record for the most road wins by a quarterback in playoff history—and he did it at just 24 years old.
“Those,” said Glauber. Ringer“these are glory days for airplanes.”
The Jets went just 8–8 and failed to make the playoffs in 2011, Ryan and Sanchez’s third season together. But playoff berths in the previous two seasons had given New Yorkers reason to believe the Jets were poised to bring down the Patriot dynasty for good. At the start of the 2012 season, the Jets-Patriots game on Thanksgiving night was expected to be a legitimate battle for first place in the AFC East. But by the time the game kicked off, the Jets were 4–6. Sure, it was a disappointing season, but there was no panic at the Jets. In Ryan’s very first season, the Jets started off 4–6 but finished 7–2 to win the AFC Championship. Maybe the 2012 season can be saved too. But they needed to defeat New England.
And then the Jets gave up three touchdowns in five plays in 56 seconds. They went 35–3 at halftime and ended up losing 49–19. The fans were, uh, upset.
For decades, the Jets have been a joke. And then, for a few fragile years, they were competent. By that point, the Mark Sanchez-era Jets had not yet fallen apart, which only added to the annoyance when they fell apart on national television.
“The butt fumble is the ultimate symbol,” says Glauber, “of how impossible it was for this team to beat Belichick.”
But Butt Fumble goes beyond symbolism – it’s legal…